Posts tagged ‘1929’

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Breed, Women, Breed by Lucia Trent

Breed little mothers,
With tired backs and tired hands,
Breed for the owners of mills and the owners of mines,
Breed a race of danger-haunted men,
Breed little mothers,
Breed for the owners of mills and the owners of mines,
Breed, breed, breed!

Breed little mothers,
With the sunken eyes and the sagging cheeks,
Breed for the bankers, the crafty and terrible masters of men,
Breed a race of machines,
A race of anemic, round-shouldered, subway-herded machines!

Breed, little mothers,
With a faith patient and stupid as cattle,
Breed for the war lords,
Offer your woman flesh for incredible torment,
Wrack your frail bodies with the pangs of birth
For the war lords who slaughter your sons!

Breed, little mothers,
Breed for the owners of mills and the owners of mines,
Breed for the bankers, the crafty and terrible masters of men,
Breed for the war lords, the devouring war lords,
Breed, women, breed!


Date: 1929

By: Lucia Trent (1897-1977)

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Hill of the Foreskins by Henry (Harry) Sturgis Crosby

what was the moment of coition like?

come Zariba let down your gates
turn turtle all you captives of the flesh

square suns
walled in by darkness from the crypt
young bodies stripped to make a mock of time
toy beauty dipped in feral wine

bones buried in the Wood
bones buried in the gold of Sun
bones buried in the very gates of War
(great searching of the gates)

impatient earthquake
shuffles all the pack
redeals the reds the golds the blacks

birdlike and blackened
secret as a door
sharp knives to stallion
through a forest floor
(great searching of the gates)

the day is done
and I can feel the pebbles
in my hand
crumble and crumble
to a beach of sand
whereon you walk

(yet do they prance in
circumcision round the pole
stride over mountain Tops
gurgle the rising Tide)

and so he died (Apollo)

and if a slender boat
should anchor near the Sun
would mad queens madly run
(girdles undone)
or would they come
black scaffolds to the Sun?

From: Crosby, Harry, Mad Queen: Tirades, 1929, Black Sun Press: Paris, pp. 4-5.

Date: 1929

By: Henry (Harry) Sturgis Crosby (1898-1929)

Monday, 27 May 2019

Idealrelisation/My Hat by Henry Parland

Grimaces I

My hat
was run over
by a trolley yesterday.
This morning
my coat took a walk
to some place
far away.
This afternoon
my shoes
happened to get assassinated.
—I’m still here?
that’s just


Date: 1929 (original in Swedish); 2013 (translation in English)

By: Henry Parland (1908-1930)

Translated by: Johannes Göranson (19??- )

Monday, 4 March 2019

The Desolate Star by Robin Hyde (Iris Guiver Wilkinson)

Little winds of dawn come gently to them,
All the living stars, the other stars.
Dim rains passionate with scents bedew them,
My brother stars,
And I go, lonely.
Steadfast and clear their shining —
Are the shadows, and the song of the wind’s pining
For ever, mine only?

Ah, the winds are kind to them! They know not,
They whose flowers quicken at their heart,
Of the darkness where the life-fires glow not,
Where, set apart,
I must follow, lost
On a blue road’s descending,
Which, for years that know not birth or ending,
No wayfarer has crossed.

Purple-plumed, the nesting twilight covers
All their golden windows. One last gleam
Shows me tranquil gardens, where go lovers
With eyes adream.
And I go, lonely,
Remembering lovelit faces —
Is the cry of the wind’s going through empty spaces,
For ever, mine only?


Date: 1929

By: Robin Hyde (Iris Guiver Wilkinson) (1906-1939)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Black Yule by Erik Axel Karlfeldt

Kindle no lamp on this black night – the air
Stifles us, like a tight-closed register.
No Michael comes with flaming sword to cleave
A path for souls to heaven this Christmas Eve.
No psalms of  hope befit this night of woe,
No choral strain in dulci jubilo.
“Dark, and passed by” –
That is our Yule-tide’s dismal melody.

Like to a foolish virgin hath the world
Wasted its oil – see the wick’s smoke upcurled
The bridegroom tarrieth – no sound of bells
Visit of Kings nor Eastern Star foretells.
On such a night no God may come to birth,
The angel-dreams of children sink to earth:
Till Yule be o’er,
Black imps stand lurking by the garden door.

Hardly the wretched mother may keep warm
‘Gainst her thin breast the child upon her arm;
Her dream this Yule-tide is of Mary’s need –
No room within the inn, no food nor bed.
Minions of Herod go from door to door –
Wrap up thy child in haste, nor tarry more!
“Farewell, depart,”
That be thy matin-song, O weary heart!

But Christ’s day dawns: mid trembling grove and sky
Earth wakens from her dreams of misery;
Earth wakens to the vision of her pain,
As on her forehead strikes the thaw-fed rain,
With wet tears dripping from the icy hand
That waves Good-tidings o’er the dreary land: –
Nay, waves good-bye
To many a mother’s son now risen to die.

From: Atwan, Robert, Dardess, George and Rosenthal, Peggy (eds.), Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry, 1998, Oxford University Press: New York and Oxford, pp. 53-54.

Date: 1917 (original in Swedish); 1929 (translation in English)

By: Erik Axel Karlfeldt (1864-1931)

Translated by: Charles Dealtry Locock (1862-1946)

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Lament for a Cuckoo by Alcuin

O cuckoo that sang to us and art fled,
Where’er thou wanderest, on whatever shore
Thou lingerest now, all men bewail thee dead,
They say our cuckoo will return no more.
Ah, let him come again, he must not die,
Let him return with the returning spring,
And waken all the songs he used to sing.
but will he come again? I know not, I.

I fear the dark see breaks above his head,
Caught in the whirlpool, dead beneath the waves,
Sorrow for me, if that ill god of wine
Hath drowned him deep where young things find their graves.
But if he lives yet, surely he will come,
Back to the kindly nest, from fierce crows.
Cuckoo, what took you from the nesting place?
But will he come again? That no man knows.

If you love sings, cuckoo, then come again,
Come again, come again, quick, pray you come.
Cuckoo, delay not, hasten thee home again,
Daphnis who loveth thee longs for his own.
Now spring is here again, wake from thy sleeping.
Alcuin the old man thinks long for thee.
Through the green meadows go the oxen grazing;
Only the cuckoo is not. Where is her?

Wail for the cuckoo, every where bewail him,
Joyous he left us: shall he grieving come?
let him come grieving, if he will but come again,
Yea, we shall weep with him, moan for his moan.
Unless a rock begat thee, thou wilt weep with us.
How canst thou not, thyself remembering?
Shall not the father weep the son he lost him,
Brother for brother still be sorrowing?

Once were we three, with but one heart among us.
Scare are we two, now that the third is fled.
Fled is he, fled is he, but the grief remaineth;
Bitter the weeping, for so dear a head.
Send a song after him, send a song of sorrow,
Songs bring the cuckoo home, or so they tell
Yet be thou happy, wheresoe’er thou wanderest
Sometimes remember us, Love, fare you well.


Date: c780 (original in Latin); 1929 (translation in English)

By: Alcuin (c734-804)

Translated by: Helen Jane Waddell (1889-1965)

Monday, 19 January 2015

Indifference by Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

When Jesus came to Golgotha, they hanged Him on a tree,
They drove great nails through hands and feet, and made a Calvary;
They crowned Him with a crown of thorns, red were His wounds and deep,
For those were crude and cruel days, and human flesh was cheap.

When Jesus came to Birmingham, they simply passed Him by.
They would not hurt a hair of Him, they only let Him die;
For men had grown more tender, and they would not give Him pain,
They only just passed down the street, and left Him in the rain.

Still Jesus cried, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do,”
And still it rained the winter rain that drenched Him through and through;
The crowds went home and left the streets without a soul to see,
And Jesus crouched against a wall, and cried for Calvary.


Date: 1929

By: Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy (1883-1929)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

My Heart is Lame by Charlotte Mary Mew

My heart is lame with running after yours so fast
Such a long way,
Shall we walk slowly home, looking at all the things we passed
Perhaps to-day?

Home down the quiet evening roads under the quiet skies,
Not saying much,
You for a moment giving me your eyes
When you could bear my touch.

But not to-morrow. This has taken all my breath;
Then, though you look the same,
There may be something lovelier in Love’s face in death
As your heart sees it, running back the way we came;
My heart is lame.


Date: 1929 (published)

By: Charlotte Mary Mew (1869-1928)

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Sarcasms in Sable by George Abbe

How righteous to serve those who manipulate the market,
Who swerve the lever on the machine that coruscates the world,
Streamlined for world leadership, for rhythms and commercial aesthetics most desirable,
Flashing the steel rails of adventure to madder monsters…
Enormous tabernacles of contrition and competition…
Who can heap the holy floor with the most prayers to success?

It is meet that we drive the taxis well, for there are large bodies,
Repositories of wealth, who pay to ride and may excrete a tip –
The coin clings well to the bloodied palm, and who knows when we may work again?
It is proper to be on time, and not to protest unemployment,
For that is a crushed flower we should hail and hold to the button-hole.

How secretly lovely to serve the planners of new highways
Who have herded the legislators into marbled corners and forced on them garlands,
Who have slipped the notification of advancement to the banks who send notifications of eviction.
How pleasant to feel the gay garland of taxes on the warm brow!
Who sport in the street? Those who have but a short time to live,
Who extorted seniority rights, and condone the closed shop.
Who bewail the lack of shelters? Those who do not realise that tradition is vital
And each turtle has only one shell even though his children are crushed and bleeding.

How pleasant to hear the air waves honeycombed with the golden juice of truth,
Let it drip upon the fingers of need. Are we not destitute, failing?
Is not the Manufacturers’ Association strong and able to help?
Commit to them the hands of your longing, and extend for them your failing strength;
Is it not good to feel yourself the servant of others, as the Bible exhorts?

The air waves classify news: a boy with an American grin whacks a towering homer, a woman disgorges her marriage,
Someone else runs and falls in the blood of a crime. These are matters for concern.
Life has always been tragic. Do not concentrate on persistent evils, rising rents.
The newspapers spawn little tadpoles of pleasure; dip in fingers, feel the entrancing wriggle of cartoons and local shows.
Put them under a glass, and watch them grow.
Then, in daylight, swell the chest of your usefulness.
You serve, and the twenty-room house at the shore will prosper in new paint and shingles;
You, as you pass in a second-hand car, can feel happy
To feel soothed by big lawns and cool trees and magnificence.
This you have helped preserve. That you did it for others
Is part of the moral fitness: treasure laid up in heaven.
Be joyous, rejoice, you are part of the righteous republic.


Date: 1929

By: George Abbe (1911-1989)

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Tarantella by Hilaire Belloc

Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the tedding and the spreading
Of the straw for a bedding,
And the fleas that tease in the High Pyrenees,
And the wine that tasted of tar?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
(Under the vine of the dark veranda)?
Do you remember an Inn, Miranda,
Do you remember an Inn?
And the cheers and the jeers of the young muleteers
Who hadn’t got a penny,
And who weren’t paying any,
And the hammer at the doors and the din?
And the hip! hop! hap!
Of the clap
Of the hands to the swirl and the twirl
Of the girl gone chancing,
Backing and advancing,
Snapping of the clapper to the spin
Out and in–
And the ting, tong, tang of the guitar!
Do you remember an Inn,
Do you remember an Inn?

Never more;
Never more.
Only the high peaks hoar;
And Aragon a torrent at the door.
No sound
In the walls of the halls where falls
The tread
Of the feet of the dead to the ground,
No sound:
But the boom
Of the far waterfall like doom.


Date: 1929

By: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)